Google offers a range of tools that business owners, marketers, and webmasters can use to effectively spread their messages online. One of the most popular is the Google AdWords Planner. The AdWords Planner helps you create robust keyword lists, primarily for use in pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. While Google makes the Keyword Planner relatively easy to understand, there are ways you can make it work even better for you. Use these five tips to take your AdWords Planner success to the next level.
- Get the Most Valuable Results
All keywords are not created equal. Some will be of greater value to your brand than others. The quality of the keywords the planner generates depends largely on the “seed terms” you enter. It is up to you to know which keywords only seem effective on paper and which are the real deal. The goal of the Keyword Planner is to come up with the right keywords, not just any keywords. A few best practices to follow to achieve this goal are as follows:
- Enter words, phrases, and a URL to find solid, high-value keywords.
- Choose keywords with high-volume and low-volume searches. A balance of both is key.
- Ignore vanity metrics such as click rates. Instead, focus on conversions.
- Only target keywords that fit your marketing budget.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when coming up with your seed words is what your desired audience will be searching to come up with your product or service. You need to identify the user’s intent when conducting a search for a particular keyword or phrase. For example, it might be tempting to bid on the keyword “best massage therapist,” but this might be a waste of money. Users who search for that phrase likely intend on finding reviews, not your site claiming that you’re the best. Thus, bidding on this phrase could be a waste of money.
- Expand Your Search
Don’t settle for only the first batch of keywords the AdWords Planner gives you from your seed term. Instead, use these to grow your list even further. Remember, the value of your results depends on the information you enter into the initial search bar. Once you’ve gotten the best possible initial search results, use the terms in this list to perform a second search. Find new keywords by entering your product categories into the search bar. This will come up with more long-tail keywords, which are important for SEO according to Google’s algorithms. The more high-quality keywords you can find, the better.
Use negative keywords to further inform your strategy. Negative keywords are those you don’t want AdWords to show your advertisement for. For instance, if you don’t offer free digital marketing consultations, this phrase would become one of your negative keywords. That way, users searching for free consultations wouldn’t come upon your website. Sometimes, the Keyword Planner tool will automatically come up with keywords that aren’t relevant to you based on your seed terms. Add these terms to your negative keyword list for future reference.
- Navigate Your Keyword Results Dashboard
The Keyword Planner has a comprehensive results dashboard that will appear when you’re looking for keywords. It’s important to understand what you’re looking at before you move onto planning your next campaign. The list is in order by the relevance of the keyword. You’ll also find the average high and low bids for each word so you can calculate your bid without a lot of guesswork.
If you want to show up first for the word you’re bidding on, you’ll have to pay more than the Top of Page Bid (High). Otherwise, bid at a lower amount depending on where you’d like to rank. If you’d like to organize what you see in the results dashboard, AdWords has a dropdown menu that lets you filter your keyword search based on the text of the keyword, monthly searches, competition for the word, bid amounts, and more. The planner makes it easy for you to narrow down your search results based on your specific needs, goals, and budget.
- Focus on the Most Important Keyword Metrics
Before you can decide which keywords are best for your company, you will need to understand how to interpret the metrics the AdWords Planner generates for each term. Some metrics are more important than others. The most important keyword metrics to focus on according to most marketing experts are the following:
- Total keyword volume. Also called average number of monthly searches, this metric will clue you in to how often users are searching for the term. This is important because you want to choose keywords that your target audience is actually entering into their searches.
- This metric refers to how many other advertisers (your competition) are bidding on the keyword. AdWords categorizes competition as either low or high. Low competition can mean you have a better chance of ranking and the bidding price is likely lower. High competition, on the other hand, can mean it’s an important keyword.
- Top of page bid metrics. Bid metrics is a relatively new Keyword Planner feature that gives marketers a clearer idea of how competitors are bidding on a word. The planner used to only give an average bid amount. The new setup makes it easier to hone your bid amount to exactly what’s necessary to achieve the desired results.
All the keyword metrics in the planner can be beneficial to you in some way if you know how to use them. Focusing on these three, however, can be the easiest way to get started if you’re just beginning to use the Planner tool.
- Plan Your Campaign
Now that you’ve bid on your perfect keywords, you can start planning your PPC ad campaign. Forecast your ad spend based on the amount you bid for each keyword. AdWords can get expensive fast, but the planner gives you the ability to forecast your spend for quick metrics. Create your PPC ad campaign based on the keywords and long-tail keywords you purchased. Based on your bid, your target audience will see your website when they search for certain terms. If you need assistance with Google AdWords Keyword Planner or your next PPC campaign, contact a professional.